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Iran plans to launch new satellite into orbit

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Iran's first domestically produced satellite Omid (Hope) ‎right before its successful launch. A File Photo

TEHRAN (BNS): Iran plans to launch a new satellite into orbit, another potential step forward for the country's space ambitions that have raised concerns in the West.

According to Iran's official news agency President Ahmadinejad said that the launch would take place despite concerns in the West over the earlier launch of Iran's first domestically made satellite in February.

Ahmadinejad was also quoted saying that the rocket with range of some 450 to 950 miles will carry sophisticated satellite to a higher altitude in space than its predecessor.

There were no details about when the launch would happen. The first domestically made Iranian satellite called Hope, or Omid in Farsi, ended its mission in late March after some 40 days in orbit.

Iran has said it wants to put its own satellites into orbit to monitor natural disasters in the earthquake-prone nation and improve its telecommunications. Iranian officials also point to America's use of satellites to monitor Afghanistan and Iraq and say they need similar abilities for their security.

Iran, which plans to launch three more satellites by 2010, also says it plans to put a man into orbit within 10 years.

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